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Illinois Politics

Late Night: A.G. Lisa Madigan Reports Investigators See 3,200 in Illinois Trading Child Pornography Online… and More

43rd Ward Alderman Michelle Smith is pushing an ordinance that would prohibit retail sales of alcohol on the south side of North Avenue between Sedgwick and Larrabee Streets. A Chicago Council Committee is slated to vote on the proposal on Tuesday.

(Chicago)April 10, 2012. As part of a crackdown on traffickers who are trading child pornography online, Attorney General Lisa Madigan revealed on Friday that her office’s investigators have monitored 3,200 Illinois IP addresses trading child pornography in the last 120 days.

Madigan also announced on Friday that Sidney J. Davis III, 37, of Shiloh was arrested and charged with five counts of aggravated possession of child pornography, each a Class 2 felony punishable by three to seven years in prison.

Investigators from the Attorney General’s office made the arrest working with the Shiloh Police Department and the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s office.

The Davis arrest marks the 29th of Operation Glass House, an initiative Madigan launched in August 2010 targeting child pornographers in Illinois. To track child pornographers online, investigators use the unique identifier that each computer is assigned, known as an Internet Protocol (IP) address.

Davis is being held in the St. Clair County jail on a $250,000 bond.

There may be 3,199 others soon following him.

You Want to See and Hear that Movie? AMC Theatres to Outfit Films for Deaf, Blind – Attorney General Madigan last week also announced a settlement with Illinois’ largest movie theater operator, AMC Theatres, that it will provide personal captioning services and audio-description technology for movie-goers with hearing and vision disabilities for its 460 movie screens.

By 2014, AMC movie theaters will be equipped with captioning services and audio-description devices. Prior to the agreement, Madigan said, only 21 out of 246 movie theaters in Illinois offered closed-captioning services and only 10 offered audio-description services.

The settlement arose out of complaint brought to the Attorney General’s Office in 2010 by Equip for Equality, the federally funded advocacy agency for people with disabilities in Illinois.

The case was handled by Madigan’s Disability Rights Bureau Chief Nicki Bazer.

Remember that Student Loan? Pay Up. Or Else. A measure arming the Illinois Student Assistance Commission with wage garnishment power to collect more than $30 million in unpaid student debt has landed in the Illinois House.

The legislation, Senate Bill 3800 sponsored State Senator Ed Maloney (D-Chicago), would allow the student loan agency to garnish wages, commissions and bonuses to recover the past-due debt.  Borrowers will be given notice prior to garnishment to draft a repayment agreement before the agency lowers the boom.

The Illinois Senate sent the bill to the House on a 56-0 vote. No House sponsor has yet picked up the bill.

Quinn Harnesses State Agencies to Push Illinois Medicaid, Pension Reforms – Governor Pat Quinn is throwing the full weight of the state’s bureaucratic machinery, including state boards and commissions, behind his push to reform Illinois pensions and Medicaid to help staunch the budget hemorrhaging,

In a letter addressed to Illinois Finance Authority Board Members dated April 10, 2012, the agency’s executive director, Christopher Meister, wrote:

“Governor Quinn has asked all State agencies, including the Illinois Finance Authority (the “IFA”), to recognize the central challenges in this legislative session and upcoming budget. These challenges are the unsustainable growth of pensions and Medicaid spending. Recent newspaper editorials articulated these issues well. See “Come off the sidelines,” Chicago Tribune, April 2, 2012 and “Use lawmakers’ break to your advantage,” Herald & Review, April 4, 2012. At IFA, we recognize that these challenges are difficult and must be overcome in order for our State to move forward. We offer our support to Governor Quinn and the General Assembly as they work through these complex challenges.”

Quinn’s pension reform panel is scheduled to release its recommendations on April 17.

We’ll soon see if all the motion matters.

Follow the Money – Chicago’s Young Republicans reported on Monday a $7,400 contribution from Anne Griffin of Chicago, a portfolio manager at Aragon Global Management… The Chicago Federation of Labor on Monday dropped $7,500 into the campaign war chest of 10th Ward Alderman John Pope… Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s campaign account on Monday snagged $1,000 from David McNeil of Hinsdale… Governor Pat Quinn’s political committee, Taxpayers for Quinn, on Monday filed its quarterly report, revealing that the governor raised $462,715,000; spent $150,313.34, leaving $719,846.39 in the bank… Cook County Commissioner Bill Beavers emptied his 7th Ward Democratic Committeeman fund, dropping $5,000 into his legal defense fund.

Wet vs. Dry – On Tuesday, April 10, the Chicago City Council’s Committee on License and Consumer Protection meets to vote on 43rd Ward Alderman Michelle Smith’s proposal to prohibit the sale of alcohol on the south side of North Avenue between Sedgwick and Larrabee Streets, because too much booze apparently abounds on North Avenue.

We’re still waiting on a comment from Smith’s office on this move.

Meanwhile, 30th Ward Alderman Ariel Reboyras is pushing a plan to open up liquor sales on West Armitage between North Lowell Avenue to North Kedvale Avenue because too little hooch flows there. The Committee meets in the City Council chambers at 11:00 a.m. Both measures are expected to pass. North Avenue residents know where they can go to drown their sorrows.

Tomorrow’s News? – The Chicago Sun-Times’ Dan Mihalopoulos is working on a piece targeting the salaries of Chicago Fire Department employees for the last two years… Andy Shaw’s Better Government Association is working on a story about Illinois lawmakers’ communications to state agencies regarding state grants to local organizations. Think Derrick Smith.

What’s a Work Day? – Governor Pat Quinn on Tuesday will visit Harold Washington College at 10:30 a.m. to encourage working families to apply for the Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit when filing their taxes this April… Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be at the Disney II Elementary Magnet School at 11:00 a.m. to make an education announcement… Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia chairs a hearing of the Board Finance Subcommittee on Real Estate & Business & Economic Development in the County Board Room at 9:30 a.m.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


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